Public attitudes on a lot of important social issues have moved in a progressive direction in recent years — sometimes at an encouragingly rapid clip. This progress has been especially noteworthy in the realm of LGBT equality, where hundreds of prominent politicians and public figures have embraced the 21st Century and abandoned their formerly bigoted stances.
And then there’s North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. Despite, at times, giving the impression of being a relatively modern man who knows better that to parrot the haters and theocrats, the Guv cannot, apparently, resist the temptation to demagogue for perceived political advantage. Last November, the Guv took the absurd step of inserting himself into a Virginia dispute over the bathroom usage of a transgender schoolboy and now he’s at it again. The Charlotte Observer reports:
“Gov. Pat McCrory warned two Charlotte City Council members Sunday that if the city approves new legal protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people on Monday, the vote would ‘most likely cause immediate state legislative intervention.’
McCrory is concerned about a provision in the proposed expanded ordinance that would allow transgender residents to use either a men’s or a women’s bathroom. That part of the ordinance has also caused a furor in Charlotte and led to the ordinance being defeated 6-5 last year.
‘It is not only the citizens of Charlotte that will be impacted by changing basic restroom and locker room norms but also citizens from across our state and nation who visit and work in Charlotte,’ McCrory said in an email to the council’s two Republicans, Ed Driggs and Kenny Smith. ‘This shift in policy could also create major public safety issues by putting citizens in possible danger from deviant actions by individuals taking improper advantage of a bad policy.’
McCrory, a Republican, continued: ‘Also, this action of allowing a person with male anatomy, for example, to use a female restroom or locker room will most likely cause immediate State legislative intervention which I would support as governor.’”
“You got that? According to Gov. Pat McCrory, transgender people do not exist. They are merely people of one gender masquerading as people of the other – undoubtedly to some nefarious end.
What’s more, efforts by the federal government to acknowledge transgender people (human beings who have, almost by definition, suffered enormous pain and hurtful treatment) and assure them at least a modicum of equal treatment when it comes to some of the most basic human functions, amount to a monstrous assault on state’s rights.
Somewhere the George Wallace of 1963 is smiling.
What’s next? Will McCrory summon TV cameras and stand in a bathroom door when courts finally order equality for transgender people? The statement is, by any fair assessment, one of the lowest in a long list of low moments in the McCrory governorship.”
Sadly, it appears that this analysis is as apt today as it was last November and that the passage of three months’ time — even in this era of rapidly advancing public attitudes — has done nothing to soften the Governor’s heart or inform his hateful and misguided attitudes.